The perfect recipe for Easter Weekend breakfast! Frittatas are wonderful for many reasons, including that they are healthy, can be a great way to use up leftovers, are very flexible according to preferred tastes, and they are pretty easy to throw together… but they are not the most beautiful. While their rustic look can be part of their charm, if you want to make them a bit fancier for an Easter brunch or other special occasion, I recommend using colourful muffin (or cupcake) liners and decorative embellishments. Here, I used dark black liners from a specialty baking store and cupcake wrappers from a craft store. Any large craft or baking store, or even grocers with a large bakery section, should have extra special options like this, otherwise they can always be found online.
Frittata muffins can appeal to children and adults alike. This seasonal variation has some sweetness from peas, ham and cooked shallots plus some creaminess from marscapone and butter. A bit of thyme adds some flavour without being too exotic. This recipe can either make 18 muffins or it can be put into a greased casserole dish and baked then cut and portioned after.
Eggs provide one of the easiest to digest sources of protein available, plus they have healthy fats and lots of vitamins and minerals. They are incredibly versatile and create a good, sturdy, nutritious base for baked dishes like this frittata that can be enjoyed on a leisurely weekend morning or reheated on a hectic weekday one, or even brought to work or school for a portable entrée or snack.
Any kind of cooked ham that is available could be used. Here I took a few large slices and diced them, but regular deli slices or leftovers from a home baked ham work just as well. If you want to get extra fancy, several grocery store delis have really nice flavoured hams, one in particular I really like has pieces of fresh rosemary distributed throughout the ham. When getting slices straight from the deli you can ask for them to be as thick as you would like.
Shallots are more mild than regular onions, and when cooked and caramelized they lose their raw sharpness and become richly sweet, adding a depth of flavour to the frittata.
Peas are one of the first signs that warmer weather is upon us and that we are fully into Spring. I shelled whole peas the night before making this- prepping vegetables is a monotonous task but the perfect sort of thing to bore/lull yourself into a wonderful night’s sleep. For a quick, low-maintenance version go for frozen peas, just let them defrost before adding them in so that they don’t add too much liquid to the eggs. Leave them in a colander in the sink, giving them a quick rinse with cold water every minute or two until they thaw.
Here’s where nutrition can get tricky- frozen vegetables are usually the next best option to fresh. They were frozen right after harvesting so their nutrients haven’t been too depleted and they will still have a really nice flavour. Canned vegetables, on the other hand, have undergone more processing to be shelf stable and in the process they lose out on some of their original nutrients and can have a lot of added refined sugars if their brine is a sweet one. If you do go for canned, check the ingredient list and if there are a lot of complicated ingredients, just give the vegetables a really good rinse to get them at their best. If canned vegetables are the best for your budget of if they’re the only kind that your child likes then very simply, they are the best option for you, at least most of the time- they are still always a better option than candy.
Marscapone is a soft cheese with a light, airy texture. It doesn’t have a very strong flavour but adds a lot of creaminess to eggs without weighing them down and a little goes a long way. Some other alternatives could be ricotta or just simple cream cheese.
Ham and Pea Frittata
- 12 eggs
- 1 cup cooked ham, diced
- 1 cup shelled peas
- ½ cup marscapone (or ricotta or cream cheese)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 shallot, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Place the butter in a skillet on the stove over medium heat. Once the butter is melted and warm, add in the shallots and sautée for 5 minutes, until softened and turning golden brown. Add in the peas and continue to sautée for another 2 minutes, until they start to deepen in colour.
- Blend the eggs, marscapone, thyme and salt with a regular or immersion blender until smooth. Pour it into a bowl and mix in the ham, peas and shallots until evenly combined.
- Spoon into 18 greased muffin liners or pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake until eggs are set and golden brown on top. The muffins will probably take 20-30 minutes whereas the casserole format will take around 40-45 minutes.
Brittany believes that some of the best things in life are homemade. She loves food and finds great joy in creating tasty meals for her family and those she cares about.
BRITTANY VUKETS, B.A., RYT 200, ACSM CPT AND NUTRITIONIST-IN-TRAINING